CARBONDALE — The Jackson County Health Department on Sunday issued a public health alert as it reported a record 38 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the past 24 hours.
Sunday was the third day in a week that Jackson County reported a record number of new daily cases after the health department on Monday reported 23 new cases and on Saturday reported 31 new cases. According to a news release from the health department, the county has averaged more than 16 new cases per day for the last nine days.
Along with the usual daily news release from the county health department with the day's number of new confirmed cases, the health department also issued a "public health alert."
The alert states immediate actions are needed by young adults in Jackson County to stem the tide of new COVID-19 infections. Nearly 70% of the virus cases reported this month have been in people in their late teens to mid-20s, according to the health department.
While many young adults do not suffer significant symptoms from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, some do, the alert states. As the spread continues among young people, the disease will eventually reach people who are more susceptible to serious complications, including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.
The alert lays out seven actions it is urging young adults in Jackson County to take immediately:
1. Avoid parties and large gatherings. Crowds are an ideal environment for spreading COVID-19.
2. Do not share beverages or vaping devices, and do not smoke or vape in groups.
3. Practice social distancing. Keep a 6-foot space between yourself and others as much as possible.
4. Wear a face mask or face covering when around others.
5. Stay home if you are sick, even if you only have mild symptoms.
6. Model behaviors for your peers to follow.
7. Return calls to public health officials and follow their instructions.
The alert states that if those actions are not taken, public health officials expect the increasing rate of new cases to continue.
To date, there have been 529 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jackson County, and 19 people have died. There are 143 active cases as of Sunday, with 367 people having been released from isolation.
Those with a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea are encouraged to call their health care providers, or call the COVID-19 hotlines for the following providers: Southern Illinois Healthcare, 844-988-7800, or Shawnee Health Service, 618-519-9200.
COVID-19 numbers in Southern Illinois
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